How does one become a pilot?

Your question of the month in May (2016)
Leni, 8 years old

You would like to get to know new countries and cities and have your workplace high up above the clouds? Then, being a pilot is just the right profession for you. Here, no working day is the same as another! Flying a plane is a lot of fun, but it is also challenging: The pilot is responsible for bringing both the machine and the people safely to their destination. That is why you have to fulfil a number of prerequisites to become a pilot. The training differs slightly from airline to airline. We'll tell you how it works at Lufthansa.

Future Lufthansa pilots currently have to visit on the one hand the Flight Training School in Bremen, whereby the practical part, where you actually learn to fly, takes place in Phoenix/USA. In total, the training takes approx. 29 to 33 months.

You first have to apply to Lufthansa to do the training course. To qualify you require, among other things, a school-leaving certificate with a higher education entrance qualification (A-levels), have to be at least 17 years old and physically fit.

If your application is successful, what follows is the so-called "basic skills assessment" at the German Institute for Aerospace (DLR). Here, your knowledge in key subjects will be tested (in particular maths and physics). In addition, you have to demonstrate how well you can memorize things, how quickly you can react and many more important qualities of a pilot. Once you have passed the tests, you then have to participate in the "corporate qualification". Here, for example, how well you work together with other people is tested and you can explain why you would like to become a pilot.

Afterwards, your fitness to fly, i.e. your physical fitness, is tested in the so-called "medical". To pass this, good vision is of particular importance. If you have passed all of the tests and received the confirmation from Lufthansa, your pilot training begins at the Flight Training School. With a bit of luck, you will soon afterwards be able to fly one of the over 340 Lufthansa planes, flying to about 80 countries and to more than 200 destinations in the world.

Here some of the most important prerequisites at a glance:

  • You have to speak good German and English
  • You have achieved the higher education entrance qualification
  • At the time of application you have to be at least 17 years old
  • You are physically fit and, more importantly, you have good vision
  • You are between 1.65 m and 1.98 m tall
  • You can bear responsibility and you work well in a team

You can find more information about the profession and tasks of a pilot here: Careers in Aviation